Recently, Google Country Consultant Aileen Apolo spearheaded the uber-successful Taste Asia event, which gathered more than 150 Filipino bloggers in one big food festival at the Taste Asia restaurant at the SM Mall of Asia. SM leveraged the power of blogging to promote their new resto and their spacious Hypermart grocery. Clearly, all their efforts have paid off. Bloggers are one of the most difficult groups of people to please. Well, at least I am. But judging from the amount of blogs buzzing about how much fun they had and how they loved all the free food, I’d say SM pulled it off quite well. Unlike marketing campaigns done on television, radio or SMS, an online marketing campaign like this costs much less but has deeper multiplying effects. When a blogger posts something on his blog, that is permanent advertising right there. Then, when his/her visitors read it, they will be encouraged to try the product and write about it too, if they have a blog. And then there’s the word-of-mouth factor to consider. Even though bloggers don’t get to talk much in the offline world, instant messengers (i.e. Google Talk) bridge that gap very easily. And you can’t discount Friendster, Multiply and other social networking sites where people rave just about anything.
I heard about the 1st Internet and Mobile Marketing Awards called the Boomerang Awards, which gives recognition to marketing campaigns such as this. From the official site:
The first and only awards that recognizes the role of Internet and Mobile platform in building the business of brands, services and companies in the Philippines. The awards give recognition to campaigns that utilizes the web/internet and mobile devices as vehicles in meeting business objectives in the most creative, innovative and breakthrough manner.
I think the Taste Asia campaign is the online marketing campaign to beat this year. It’s creative, innovative, and definitely one-of-a-kind. Who would’ve thought SM can think of something like this? I have a friend who’s the brand manager for a multinational company operating here in the country and I asked her if she ever considered marketing her product to bloggers. She said she did, but lacked enough data to know what market she was reaching and what logistical requirement it would entail. Well, all I need to do now is tell her about the SM campaign.:) Seriously, I would love to see other companies following suit. What company/product do you think would benefit from an online blogging campaign?
By the way, there’s a new mall in town called the TriNoMa. Perhaps they’re thinking of something similar?